July 16, 2022 –
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
“‘… my beloved in whom I delight ….’”
The latter half of today’s Gospel passage is a quotation from the Old Testament. St. Matthew the Evangelist cites Isaiah 42:1-4, a passage which echoes God the Father’s declaration at the Baptism of Jesus. One way to reflect on these words—“my beloved in whom I delight….”—is to imagine God the Father addressing them to you. Of course, that is only possible if your life is lived in Christ. Understanding why God the Father might say these words to you demands reflecting on why the Father naturally says them to God the Son.
This quotation highlights a contrast between the Pharisees’ harsh opposition to Jesus and the delight God the Father takes in His servant and Son. One of the causes of the Pharisees’ opposition is Jesus serving both the Gentiles and the Jews. The first sentence of the quoted passage has God the Father speaking of Jesus (as the quote is applied by the evangelist) as His chosen servant. However, the last sentence points to the relevance of Jesus’ service to the Gentiles. It is the Father’s will that Jesus serve the Gentiles.
Of course, Jesus came not primarily to cure the sick, but to destroy the power of sin and death. Part of the power of sin is the division between the Jews and Gentiles. It is the power of the Spirit whom the Father “places upon” Jesus that can reconcile the races and nations of the earth.